America has a new definition of family, every media outlet seems to be reporting! It’s based on research to be published by Brian Powell, a sociology professor at Indiana University-Bloomington, in Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans’ Definitions of Family. The New York Times insists “A majority of Americans now say their definition of family includes same-sex couples with children, as well as married gay and lesbian couples,” but that “most Americans do not consider unmarried cohabiting couples, either heterosexual or same-sex, to be a family — unless they have children.” That’s all great and stuff, but there’s still a couple things to knock down your spirits, notes Time:
This data set, based on surveys conducted in 2003 and 2006 (old news, as far as I’m concerned), shows more people are opposed to same-sex marriage (52%) than support it (48%), and also that more Americans believe pets to be family (51%) than gay couples (33%). But if those gay couples are legally married? Then 59% of this country will let them count as family.
On the other hand, more Americans believe obesity is caused by crappy parenting — something fewer and fewer people are also willing to blame homosexuality on. Progress!